Vision Statement: High-Performance Office Space
Before: The Tyranny of the Cubicle
Lilly had a typical cube farm. This kind of space has significant drawbacks, according to the workplace-strategy consultancy Lilly hired, DEGW. Research it has conducted—44 surveys involving 7,312 knowledge workers at 18 organizations—reveals that in traditional offices, it takes knowledge workers, on average, 4.7 hours to get a response from colleagues and 8.8 hours to get one from managers. DEGW also found that workers each lose 66 minutes a day to inefficiencies, hassles, and distractions and spend only 35% of their time at their desks.
Most offices cluster workspaces together by department. But modern work requires interdepartmental communication, so staffers resort to e-mail and meetings. All-purpose cubicles are open enough to let in distracting noise and drop-by colleagues but not so open that they improve communication and visibility. All of this decreases productivity and lengthens decision-making cycles.
Workspace was an attractive aspect of the job
Workspace created a stimulating atmosphere
They were satisfied overall with workspace
After: Flexible, Customized Space
Lilly reduced the amount of assigned space and increased the amount of shared and temporary, unassigned space, which employees can use during the two-thirds of the day when they aren’t at their desks. The new spaces are not generic but designed for different kinds of work (quiet focus rooms for tasks that demand concentration, cafés and team rooms for collaborative work, enclaves for private conversations). The more open plan promotes ad hoc communication and, employees say, stimulates more creativity. In the initial series of pilots, Lilly saw workers’ satisfaction with their workspace almost double, associated capital costs nearly cut in half, and the amount of time lost to distractions, waiting, looking for meeting rooms, and the like decrease by 16%.
Total square footage per employee
Furniture cost per employee
Capital cost per employee
Hours lost per employee, per year, to noise
Hours lost per employee, per year, to drop-by visitors
Hours lost per employee, per year, waiting for feedback or approval from managers
After: 13.6Source: hbr.org http://hbr.org Harvard Business Review